Exciting Times in Israel

God is moving in Israel today like we have not seen in the last 2000 years.

Joy- Welcome to Asked and Answered,” the podcast series that answers all of your mission related questions. With me in the studio are Ron and Charis Pearce. Welcome, guys!

Ron and Charis- Hi, Joy!

Joy- Okay, I have a great question today! I’m wondering if you can tell us what exciting things are happening in the country of Israel.

Ron- Oh my!

Joy- Is that a good question?

Ron- It’s a good question, we’ll do it briefly and people will start to say I want all the details. We could go on forever according to the various areas, outreaches, everything like that. Let me just put it very, very simply to everybody listening, God is moving in Israel today like we have not seen in the last 2000 years. The reason I say that is that there has been almost like a spiritual awakening amongst the people of the land probably caused by world conditions and all the pressures put on Israel, but also it’s a general move of God around the world where the Spirit of God is being poured out upon all flesh. And one of those pockets of flesh shall we say is that little bit of land at the end of the Mediterranean and it’s Israel. When Jesus came 2000 years ago and preached the Gospel there were people that were flocking to him. So they would travel to Galilee. I remember standing there on the hillside looking at this one big area where they say the Beatitudes were given, the Sermon on the Mount, all of that. And it’s a great little area for people to stand and listen. Well, they flocked there to listen to the message which captivated their hearts because they were empty inside and Jesus presented it in such a way that the people just started to believe in him. That is what is going on in Israel today. They are empty, they are looking, many times they are fearful because of the war and all the nations around them that are hostile and, therefore, they want to have somebody tell them who will deliver us. They are looking for a deliverer today like they did 2000 years ago under the Romans. That’s why right now the people are crying out and God is revealing to them, both in their hearts and through their friends who are believers, they are looking into the word of God and they are finding answers there that they have been looking for. And so all these things have been coming to bear at the same time, Joy. Now, is this something that will last? If you believe in end time prophecy as described in the Bible, yes. It will grow and grow and grow and grow into the future. As things fall apart on earth, more will come to the Lord in Israel. So that’s the first part. The second part some people might say well, it comes and it goes, it comes and it goes. This one has come, it’s growing, it probably started about eight or ten years ago really in earnest. I know people say it was building before that, that’s true, but this last one of eight to ten years, I would say this one is special. This is when you’ve got a revival as one brother shared with me there, he’s a pastor in the country, very knowledgeable, speaks all over the world and he says, This is a generational shift of interest in the Gospel.” Young people now are coming with their enthusiasm, with their curiosity, with their hope that they have found something that they have been searching for maybe in other avenues: drugs, relationships, and all those sorts of things. They have been looking everywhere to try to find fulfillment in life. Now they found it in the Gospel and they are witnessing like you wouldn’t believe, especially in military circles when they go in for their home service. In those sorts of situations, they’re pulling out their Bibles, that is why we did these camouflage Bibles for the military there. They are pulling out their Bibles and they are witnessing to their friends who are in the foxholes or in the tanks or wherever they are and they are talking to them about Yeshua; Jesus the promised Messiah. Well, this is a beginning and now you’ve got the Holocaust survivors who are starting to come to the Lord and these are older folks.

Young people now are coming with their enthusiasm, with their curiosity, with their hope that they have found something that they have been searching for maybe in other avenues: drugs, relationships, and all those sorts of things.

Joy- The opposite end of the spectrum.

Ron- The opposite end of the spectrum. They are older folks and they are coming out with their families, their children, and their grandchildren. They are coming to believe. Then you’ve got all these other groups in Israel, as well as the Arabic-speaking. The Arabic-speaking congregations, especially up in the Northern region are really starting to see a move where people are looking at them, the change in their lives, how they’re walking with God. There is a purity, there’s a fulfillment, there is a smile on their face, a joy in their heart. I can give you all the little characteristics but they are noticing these people that follow this man of God that came to earth 2000 years ago, these people are changing in themselves. They are being transformed and people are starting to watch. Then during the covid situation people were really hungry at times.

Joy- Like physical hunger?

Ron- Physical hunger because their businesses weren’t working well, the lockdowns, and all these things. So I know some of the pastors that we work with there were taking funds to them, and food, and helping them out and they were so appreciative of this. These people were Arabic speaking background, so they were going to them and they were loving on them, I guess there’s no other way to put it, and they were giving them all these packages of food etcetera. Well, these Arabic-speaking people who weren’t believers before sure had their eyes opened and their ears opened all at the same time. Why are you people doing this? Why are you different? So that was another thing that came on. Covid helped this revival shall we say. Now, what are we getting? Now you’re getting a situation where people are openly now asking questions that were forbidden before to ask. Remember in Isaiah this section that is talking about the promised Messiah, what he would look like. That Isaiah 53 package was forbidden to be read in the synagogues and is today and that is why right now what they need to do, the people there, is to realize this is an open topic and everybody online, in videos etcetera, etcetera are all saying who is this person that was prophesied who would come? And they are finally talking openly about Jesus, Yeshua. Remember, that was almost a swear word many years ago and if you were called a Christian you were relegated to the poorest of poor, you were not really recognized and they would even spit at you sometimes for being a Christian. Not now.

Joy- They are not talking about Yeshua in the synagogues are they? It’s more in the streets, in the groups?

Ron- No, you’re talking about outside of synagogues, outside of religious circles, that’s the name that is not spoken, or if it is it’s in a disparaging way. No, these are people that are in back corners, in questioning with friends, in reading, just searching, hushed tones of Was he the one? Is he the one?” Things like that. Remember, it’s not just in those quiet areas of life that people are wondering, there are rabbis right now, religious people, high ranking who are searching for the Word. I cannot go into detail on this, but some people have come and requested to have a Bible. All these ones, rabbis, who are saying we want to read about him, we want to understand. So somewhere even in the upper echelons of Jewish religious life there are people quietly starting to read and this is new.

That Isaiah 53 package was forbidden to be read in the synagogues and is today and that is why right now what they need to do, the people there, is to realize this is an open topic and everybody online, in videos etcetera, etcetera are all saying who is this person that was prophesied who would come?

Charis- There are also so many people resettling in Israel from all over the world, all different countries and the ability to show these people love because when they come in a lot of them have nothing. So for the believers to express and show Jesus’ love to these people, it opens a door that many people didn’t realize was available to share God’s love with.

Ron- Exactly, and if you do it in a nice way, a considerate way, you can share your faith, that’s not an issue. It’s when you try to force people or coerce people to change their religion, that is not acceptable to them in Israel.

Joy- That is what’s illegal right?

Ron- That’s the line, yeah, it’s the coercion or the proselytizing or something like that. But for those of us who have experienced the Lord, we don’t need to force or to try to twist arms for Jesus. It’s not necessary. All we do is live, express to them what is in our hearts, what has changed us, why we are loving people, like Charis just said, and all these people coming in are getting a very good impression of the love of Christians and want to know what we believe. Therefore that is all we want, and to share with them what we believe.

Joy- When you mentioned that believers are being kind and loving to the Arabic communities, would that be unusual for the Arabic communities to experience that?

Ron- Totally, yes.

Joy- So they are more on the outskirts.

Ron- Well yeah, they are a couple of levels down on the social ladder shall we say and you would get various other groups in front of them. On top, of course, are the Jewish people and the Jewish culture etcetera. And then if you get down a few, the Russians, then you come to the Arabic-speaking. And the Arabic-speaking folks are really, in many areas, and you can see it as you drive down the road how there is on one side of the road a Jewish community and on the other side of the road will be an Arabic-speaking community and the standard of living between the two sides of the road is incredible. And so the believers that I have spoken to there, they recognize that and many, many of them are very happy that they live in Israel. They just would love to be treated a little bit better and you know, we understand that. Does this apply to our faith? Possibly if you want to stretch it but mostly this is a governmental system that is dictating that. Personal faith is at a different level and when they find Jesus in their Arabic-speaking communities and they lay hold of Him, sure they would love to have more but they have found everything in Christ. That is why they are willing and able to live under those circumstances because they are understanding that there is another life after this and that is the one that God is revealing to them. Messianic believers, we have friends in one congregation up in the northern part of the country and they’ve got Arabic-speaking people on the platform, they are worshiping with the Messianic congregation, those from Jewish background, there are Russians there, there are Germans there, I could go down the list, Spanish there…

Joy- So that would be unusual and it’s starting to become more normal.

Ron- Yes, they call it one new man in Christ. In other words, you can take this New Testament teaching and you can just lay it out as a standard rule that when you become a believer in Jesus all the various backgrounds, nationalities, even beliefs sometimes, evaporate when you come to know the Lord and we are one new person in Christ and, therefore, that oneness and laying down all those hatreds, I’m going to use that word because that’s what it is in society sometimes, it’s hate of another group. You lay those aside when you come to Jesus. Therefore they can fellowship together, they can worship together, and love one another. It’s perfect. That is the utopian society that basically communism wanted, couldn’t find, but they wanted it. Well, now you find that in the Gospel and you find that in the body of Christ.

Joy- So people must be taking notice of that, this is one of the reasons why there’s so much change happening.

Ron- Yes, but prejudice and hatred is a real strong factor still. We like to hate, we like to be prejudicial, and it makes us feel good. The old man just loves that. The new man in Christ that is a totally different thing. We are bondservants, we love, we give, we share, we treat people with respect and that is a mark of being a Christian. It’s noticeable but still many people are lost in sin and don’t recognize it or practice it.

Joy- And when you mention the forbidden chapter and how young people are starting to more so come to the Lord, I imagine that just being called the forbidden chapter would inspire some young people to want to know more in my experience, right? Sounds like the opposite thing to do if you don’t want people to read it.

Ron- Oh yeah, years ago when the internet started to put out explanations of Isaiah 53, as to what the Messiah would look like, I remember talking to this one pastor and he said, Oh yes, there is enough rebellion in young people to carry the day.” In other words, you tell me I can’t do that, I’ll do it. That’s it and actually that has really worked to our benefit in this.

Joy- Okay, well thank you guys for answering that question.

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